Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke about the “lake pirates” shooting in an interview aired on Good Morning America this morning. The family of David Hartley, the man reportedly shot while jet skiing on the Mexican side of a border-straddling lake, has publicly called for more federal involvement in the search and investigation. In media appearances, Hartley’s mother has appealed to Clinton directly. Clinton said the State Department is helping, and that the U.S. government “is supporting local law enforcement, supporting the authorities on the border. Doing everything that we know to do to try to assist in helping to find the body and helping to find the perpetrators.”
“This is a terrible tragedy,” Clinton said. “And obviously we are sickened by it, as we are with the spike in violence that has gone on in Mexico, directed primarily against innocent Mexicans as well as the inter-tribal warfare, if you will, among the drug clans and crime organizations.”
Last week, Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez told the media that he had an invitation from Mexican authorities to assist with the search on the other side of the border, but he declined “because it’s dangerous.” This week, the Mexican supervisor of the investigation was murdered, and his severed head delivered to authorities.
“The beheaded body of the brave Mexican investigator that just showed up shows what we’re dealing with,” Clinton said. “You know, the absolute barbarity that we’re seeing by criminals and terrorists in the world today should shock the conscience, and require a concerted effort to defeat these violent, terrible actors that upset lives from Mexico to Africa to Afghanistan and beyond. I see this as one struggle where we have to, as people of conscience standing together, work very hard to defeat these extreme criminals and extreme terrorists.”
While the incident has been clouded by conflicting reports from both sides of the border, yesterday, a report by STRATFOR suggested that the whole incident may have been a case of mistaken identity.
Watch (Lake pirates conversation starts at about 4:30 min mark):
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com